The Forum organised by the Committee of the Regions, one month before the official start of the European Year 2013, took stock of the impact of EU citizenship on local and regional policy making
. Through plenary debates and parallel workshops on the main topics of the citizenship theme, politicians, experts and practitioners discussed how regions and cities can manage the effects of free movement and voting rights, and how they can stimulate the active involvement of EU citizens in their territory.
Among the speakers were CoR President Valcárcel Siso, EC Vice-President Reding and EP rapporteur Papadopoulou, together with some 20 high-level experts from public authorities, academia and civil society.
All conference speeches and presentations
, as well as a toolkit
with communication material about the European Year, can be found on this web page
About the European Year
2013 is the European Year of Citizens
. It aims to raise awareness about EU citizens' rights
and to engage with them in a debate on the development of EU citizenship and of Europe in general, in view also of the EP elections of 2014. The European Year 2013 is a key moment in the Commission's Citizens' Agenda which also includes the publication of the 2013 Citizenship Report and other actions to promote EU citizenship. Freedom of movement
is the most tangible expression of the benefits related to Union citizenship: it allows citizens to work, study, shop, travel and live in any EU country. EU citizens should be able to enjoy this right without being confronted to unnecessary obstacles or administrative burden.
The rights granted to Union citizens to vote and to stand as candidates in elections to the European Parliament and in municipal elections in their Member State of residence provide citizens with the means to participate in the democratic life of the EU, whilst at the same time contributing to their integration into the society of the Member States of residence. In this field, the Committee of the Regions is currently drafting an own-initiative opinion, with the working title "Strengthening EU Citizenship: Promotion of EU citizens' electoral rights" (rapporteur: Mr Györgi Gemesi).